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Guest blog: My experience as a Y4Y Roaming Youth Cultural Ambassador

Published on March 23, 2022

By Santana Briggs, Y4Y Roaming Youth Cultural Ambassador for the You Are Here project

When I moved to Montreal in 2019 without many connections to the community, I knew I wanted to find my place. Even in a city of millions, being new and not speaking French very well can be isolating. The friends I made through school were a huge blessing during COVID and I was so grateful I didn’t have to go through it alone. In an effort to connect other people with their communities and learn more about the opportunities in the province, I joined Y4Y Quebec as the Roaming Youth Cultural Ambassador.

At first, the amount of opportunities was a bit overwhelming. As the Roaming Ambassador, I’m responsible for a few different regions of Quebec. Going through lists of organizations working on culture, heritage, and community gave me so many ideas, almost too many ideas. Trying to pick just a few seemed impossible. Balancing three regions is also a bit complicated, because it's like starting over three times. However, every time I talked to someone new, it gave me a new perspective.

I was surprised at how many other organizations were as excited as we are about creating networks and collaborating. In planning my first event, the organization coordinator I worked with was super helpful and her enthusiasm made me all the more excited. It turns out that her organization had been looking for people like us, too.

The most rewarding part of being a Youth Cultural Ambassador has been seeing people make connections and enjoy themselves. I was so lucky to have been able to work with a local artist to put on a virtual Zine tutorial, where she led us through making our own Zines. The smiles and laughter of participants meant that I was doing my job well, and it made me so happy.

Getting to connect youth to organizations and people in their communities is so rewarding. Finding your place in your community means connecting to people around you. Going at it alone is no fun. Being able to help people feel a little less alone is the most rewarding part of my work with Y4Y.

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